Home > Love Bites (My Sister the Vampire #6)(6)

Love Bites (My Sister the Vampire #6)(6)
Author: Sienna Mercer

What about my heart? Olivia thought.

She watched the next person, a girl about Olivia’s age with cropped brown hair wearing a T-shirt from The Right One movie.

‘Happy Valentine’s Day,’ Jackson said to her with a smile.

He hasn’t even said Happy Valentine’s to me, Olivia realised.

Girl after girl came up and received the full focus of Jackson’s attention for at least a minute – more than Olivia had – and walked away happy. At last, there were only three people left in line: two teenage girls and one older woman carrying her dog, with a studded dog collar that spelled out Jackson’s name.

When he was finished, Jackson turned to Olivia and Janie. ‘Well, now,’ he said, with a wink. ‘My two favourite Valentines.’

But before he could say anything more, Amy picked up her big grey handbag. ‘That was great. Now, just say a quick goodbye and we’ll get you to the VIP party.’

Olivia’s stomach lurched. ‘You never told me about the VIP party,’ she said, trying to control her emotions in front of Janie, who was listening to every word.

‘I forgot. I’m sorry,’ Jackson said, looking pained. He touched her hand again. ‘Look, if you’ll just hold on –’

‘I can’t,’ Olivia said. And after hours of waiting already, I shouldn’t have to! ‘Ivy has been waiting for me to leave; we’ve got to finish packing.’

Jackson looked unhappy. ‘I wanted to see you before you went away.’

‘That’s why I came,’ Olivia said. She wished that everything between them wasn’t always so fleeting. She pulled out the box she’d wrapped in crinkly silver paper and handed it to him. ‘Happy Valentine’s Day.’

He took it and gave her a huge hug. For a moment, it felt like everything in the world was just how it should be. ‘Thank you.’

He carefully unwrapped the paper and opened the little box. He pulled out the pair of cowboy boots and grinned.

‘Yeehaw,’ Olivia said quietly.

Jackson smiled, looking right into her eyes. She knew that he totally got her present. Maybe the waiting was a little worth it, Olivia thought.

‘Those are so cute!’ declared Janie, peering at the cowboy boots. ‘They look just like yours, Jackson.’

‘They do, don’t they?’ Jackson replied.

He looked from the boots to Janie and then to Olivia. She realised without him saying a word what he was thinking.

‘You don’t mind, do you?’ Jackson asked.

Olivia was torn. It was really sweet for Jackson to give Janie something so special – but it was his Valentine’s present. Why doesn’t he want to keep it for himself? Olivia thought.

Still, she wanted Janie to leave happy and knew that was all Jackson was trying to do. She shook her head and he handed one over to a beaming Janie.

‘And I’ll always keep the other one very close to my heart,’ Jackson said, holding up the one with Olivia’s initials on it.

‘You two are the best!’ Janie shouted, giving Jackson and then Olivia huge hugs. ‘I think you make the perfect couple,’ she whispered and skipped out of the store.

‘Jackson,’ Amy warned. ‘We have to go now.’

‘I’m really sorry,’ Jackson said to Olivia. ‘Your present isn’t . . . uh . . . ready yet. You know Valentine’s isn’t until the end of the week . . .’ he trailed off.

Olivia tried to smile. ‘It’s fine, don’t worry.’ But inside she felt like this morning had been nothing but a big disappointment. ‘We’ll see each other when I get back from Transylvania.’

‘If not before,’ Jackson said. He gave her a hug and squeezed her hand. ‘I’m really sorry about today.’

‘Jackson, Amy insisted.

‘Bye,’ Olivia said quietly.

‘Bye.’ He waved as he walked away.

She was about to spend yet another week away from Jackson in Transylvania, and he didn’t even seem to care that much. As she walked out of the store, past the rows of Jackson Caulfield books, DVDs and posters, Olivia felt like a deflated balloon.

Might as well go home and finish packing for the trip, she thought, but where’s Ivy? It had almost been two hours since she’d seen her sister. Olivia pulled out her phone and pushed redial.

The phone rang twice and Ivy picked up. Then Olivia heard a crash and a squeal. She yelped, holding the phone away from her ear.

‘That sounded painful!’

Operation Night Stalker was well under way. Ivy had wrapped her black scarf over her head like a ninja and she was peering around a shelf of shoes.

Her suspect was ten feet due north, staring intently at a row of belts hanging on pegs.

She’d trailed him through Midnight Clothing, the Sweet Tooth candy shop and George’s Glass Emporium but he still hadn’t bought anything. Now, he was in Batty for Beads, the accessory store, and was looking baffled by the huge range of bags, shoes, jewellery and belts.

‘Can I help you?’

The voice behind her made Ivy jump.

‘Uh, no,’ Ivy mumbled to the store assistant. ‘Just looking, thanks.’

Brendan moved out of sight.

Drat, Ivy thought. I’m going to have to follow.

She flattened her back against the end of the shoe shelf and leaned out briefly, like a SWAT team member about to storm a building.

Clear, Ivy thought. Go, go, go!

She crouched down and scurried to the end of the aisle. She had no idea which way he’d gone, so she grabbed a pocket mirror off the shelf in front of her and held it out, tilting it this way and that.

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